Royal Blood – Showbox Market – August 9th

Originally this was another Cody/Jake Must See Show of 2017.  Then he snuck off to Mexico for a week…. but luckily sold me his ticket. This show was sold out after all so if he hadn’t done that, I would have beat him with lead pipes in pillow cushions.

Anyways, luckily I was able to bring this foxy little thing I just met, Alyssa, and she decided to give me (and Royal Blood) a chance.  We met up with Collin and his girlfriend straight away at the bar and settled in to see the show.  Alyssa had never heard of Royal Blood so I was excited to see what she thought of them.

To kick things off was a relatively unheard of band, Welles.  I can’t find too much about them other than some flashy social media and Beatles inspired photographs. Seems like everyone’s going the psych-beatles route nowadays.

I was able to discern from an article that the band is named after the lead singer’s last name (Jehsea Wells) and that he’s originally from Arkansas. He then moved to Nashville and I’m assuming got himself some bandmates, booking agents, record labels, promotion companies, and whoever else could have possibly got them as an opening act for Royal Blood.

Anyways, although I am tired of seeing the same hipster approach to hitting it big, I did enjoy the concert.  They rocked hard although nothing that stuck in my head too much.  Their performance seemed restrained but the music did grab my attention from my focus of drinking and carousing around with my friends. Nothing special, but nothing terrible. I would seriously be curious to get the full story on how this band with 1000 likes on Facebook was able to open up for one of the biggest rock bands out right now…Guess I’ll have to wait on that at this point.

After their show Collin and I went out for a smoke and grabbed a few more brewskis. Collin was pretty smashed but having a blast. We were all super excited for the show. This was his second time seeing them but my first. I was extremely skeptical they could pull of their signature 2-piece sound live without help from other musicians on stage but was soon to be proved very wrong.

Royal Blood hit the stage and wow…sounded exactly like the album. I can’t recall the exact setlist but they played mostly songs I knew.  I’m still not too familiar with the new album but I can tell you that every song was rocking’.  Multiple times I was caught playing air guitar and making a complete fool of myself in front of Alyssa.  We were all dancing around and singing the songs we knew.

My favorite songs I heard were Come on Over and Out of the Black.  Out of the Black came out a few years ago and it was the first song I’d heard in years that I felt could do a fair chance of bringing back real rock and roll. I mean hell, Jimmie Page vouches for them?! What’s more rocking than that. Although I’m still waiting on hard rock to make a come-back, they’ve definitely done the world a great service with that song and that album.

I’m still completely amazed they were able to get the tones they do as a two piece, and I wish I knew the “magic” behind what pedals he’s using. Alyssa, who’s unfamiliar with pedals, guitars, amps, and all that jazz, was just as amazed it was two people up there and as of this writing she’s added a few of their songs to her playlist.  I’d say that’s a big win for any live show.

As for their performance, it was straight forward. No flashy screens or crazy effects. No explosions or bikers stabbing people.  I think that it just goes to speak volumes for their actual music.  They don’t need all the “fluff”.  People come to their show to rock out, and they deliver.

Anywhooooo….I’ll post some links to my favorite songs of both bands below and you can check ’em out. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

 

Cage the Elephant – Unpeeled

Just a quick post here.  I’ve been really digging this album lately and I just feel I gotta do my best to get the word out. I’ve been a big fan of Cage the Elephant, and maybe I’m biased, they’re from my neck of the woods anyways.

This latest album is a collection of their songs as well as a few covers. I guess the point of it was to do all the songs with acoustic instruments. It really gives the songs a cool, almost Beatles-y sound.  Definitely that 60’s psych vibe.

In any case, I’ll post the Spotify link below and you can give it a listen:

 

Eagles of Death Metal w/ The Melvins – July 13th – Showbox

This was another Cody and Jake must see show of 2017.  We had looked forward to this one for a long time as we both have never seen the Melvins and we both have man crushes on Eagles of Death metal. We also suckered my roommate Shay into going. He didn’t have a ticket but with Jake’s shiesty shenanigans we knew we could get him one.

We headed down early to grab some brewskis at pike place brewery and then the scalawag Jake made his way to the streets to give whatever he had to give to get a ticket to the show for Shay.  After 6’5″ Jake told a 5’6″ scalper “Do you want your kids to eat tonight?!” He was able to secure a ticket for a little more than face value.

We made our way in and Melvins came on pretty soon afterwards.  I’m not a huge fan of the Melvins and honestly am not familiar with many of their tunes.  It’s definitely way different and super technical, and that’s what made it fun for me.

King Buzzo, the singer of course, was a blast to watch. He’s got crazy sideshow bob hair and with the light bouncing off it, it was simply crazy to watch.  Add that to the crazy electric guitar and insane stops and starts of the rhythm and it was hard to look away.  They definitely know how to put on a show.

On a separate note, I’ve always admired the Melvins for never trying to fit a mold and always making the music they want to make.  When asked how they’ve remained a band for so long (30+ years), King Buzzo told the interviewer “Never write a hit song”. Pretty awesome…and legit as hell.

To cap their act off, I can definitely tell you with a couple play throughs of these songs you are bound to love them. Well…that is if you have my exact same music taste. My personal favorite is Honey Bucket so if you’re wanting to give them a listen, and you love hard rock, start off with this one!

After the Melvins it was time for EODM. This is my 3rd time seeing Eagles of Death Metal and the second time I’ve seen them in 2017 (1st time this year was before I started this blog…and was with Mastodon).

I’ve just gotta say that most people unfortunately know them because of the terrible Paris tragedy.  This is a band that’s overcame that and gone to do the damn thing. Jesse Hughes, who goes by Boots Electric, is one hell of a front man.  He just goes out there and doesn’t give a single fuck.  This particular show he came out rocking a cape and to the song Magic by Pilot.

After that it was straight forward rock and roll.  Me and Jake were chilling back at the bar slamming beers and dancing up a storm. Basically, really putting off the vibes that we’re laid back fun dudes who love to have a good time. And obviously scaring off most who don’t know how to handle that.

Once we were real lubed up and fully into it we made our way to the front strategically…by jumping and bumping our way into the middle to form our very own mosh pit.  You know, at 28 years old, you really can tell how out of shape you are by how out of breath you get in a mosh pit.  I didn’t know if I was gonna die or orgasm, but I’d say by the end of it, it was a little bit of both.

I wish I could recall the exact setlist, but I can say I knew every single song they played with the set spanning all 4 albums.  I’d say my favorite song I heard was “Wannabe in LA”. Afterwards I left and met up with some people at the Chieftain in Capitol Hill to continue my night.  It was one for the record books.

Simply, the funnest show I’ve been to in a long time and the most fun I’ve had in 2017…so far.

Ryan Adams – The Paramount – June 28th

I’ve never been the biggest Ryan Adams fan.  That being said I do like a few of his songs a WHOLE lot.  These include “To Be Young”, “Stars Go Blue”, “New York, New York”, and a couple off of his new album “Prisoner” and “Do You Still Love Me”.

I didn’t know what to expect but my buddy Kyle bought me a ticket on pre-sale and for 45 bucks it seemed totally worth it.  The venue was Paramount which is an absolutely amazing venue.  Trust me, you smoke some weed or do some shrooms before you go and you’re gonna be staring at the ceiling wonder where the hell you are.  The architecture is so amazing you may think you’re in a Catholic Church.

One downside to the venue is the drinking situation.  You can only drink outside the concert hall.  This means your forced to make awkward talk with strangers while shoved together like cattle, or make awkward talk with your friends while shoved together.  That being said, drinks aren’t overly expensive (Here’s looking at you Moore Theater).

We came in the theater a bit earlier than I’m used to to get a good spot.  I was up towards the left of the stage.  Ryan Adams came out and kicked it off with “Do You Still Love Me?”.  Honestly I was immediately blown away.  For one he started with one of my favorite songs and for two the musicianship was out of this world.  The backdrop was killer and everyone was singing along.  After that badass song he went into “To Be Young”, so basically just a 10 out of 10 for getting the show going.

The next songs were all songs I knew, although I can’t remember the order exactly.  It was neat seeing it live because he’s one of the few acts that sounds better live.  He plays it different as well which I’ve always admired because if I wanted to hear it like it is off of the album, I’d just listen to the damn album.  One song that stick out to me is an amazing rendition of Prisoner.  It had a softer start than normal and then evolved into a straight up rocker with some killer guitar.

My favorite part of the show was when he completely improvised a new song in front of the huge crowd.  He was singing about if Bruce Springsteen sang his autobiography through the teleprompter.  It sounds confusing, and it is…but it was so good.  I’m going to attach a link to the video here for you to watch.  You gotta see this.  Moments like this are so memorable, and truly make Ryan Adams a must see live show.

After that awesome break it was back to more hits.  He ended the show with “Come Pick Me Up” which he apparently wrote in a closet at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle.  How cool is that?

Anyways thats my summary of the show.  I’ve had a great year of seeing shows, on top of many other great years, and this song will always stick out in my mind.  All in all a great experience, and it’s definitely made me much more of a fan.

Peace and Love and Ryan Adams.  Take Care!

 

Tool at the Gorge – June 17th

The anticipation for this show, for me personally, was unbelievable.  I had one of my best friends fly all the way in from New Jersey and on top of that I got a camping spot.  Tool is literally his favorite band and while not one of my top 10 favorite bands, they’re definitely top 100.  With how rare it is that they go on tour, I bought these tickets right when they went on sale.  I’m unfortunately unable to make his bachelor party so I figured buying tickets to this would halfway make up for it. We went up a day early, secured a spot, and let the pregaming begin.

Honestly, going to the Gorge is a must for any big music lover.  It’s consistently ranked one of the best music venues in the whole country and it’s honestly hard to take in as “real” when you first top the hill and look out at the canyon. The only venue in all of America I think can compare is Red Rocks in Colorado (which I WILL go to one day, its a bucket list thing).

Anyways back to the show, the vibes were great and everyone was thirsty.  We walked up the trail, probably about 2 miles maybe more, and were finally ready to witness Tool by 8pm.

The band that opened was called Crystal Method and it may have been one of my least favorite shows of all time.  It sounded like filler music, or music played when a bar is trying to get you to leave. I literally can’t think of anything good about the show other than it was a good excuse to go to the vendors and buy super expensive food and drinks.

After that mess, Tool finally took the stage.  In perfect Maynard form, he stood at the back of the stage.  We didn’t have the greatest seats in the house but they weren’t terrible.  we were to the right of the stage but the sound was phenomenal.  Maynard sounded so good that one of my drunk friends asked if it was a recording.

I was absolutely captivated by the lights, the back drop, and the visuals.  Seeing tool live is definitely a work of art.  I truly believe thats why he stands at the back of the stage.  To make the experience about the music and not about persona’s or the people making the music.

Here’s the Setlist:

The Grudge
Parabol
Parabola
Schism
Opiate
Aenema
Jambi
Third Eye
46&2
Intermission
Vicarious
Sweat
Stinkfist

If you’re a fan of rock music and If you get the opportunity, I strongly suggest you go out of your way to see them live. Truly a one of a kind act and an experience that will last the rest of your lifetime.  Here’s my favorite song by them:

 

My Goodness at The Crocodile – Seattle – 6/9/2017

This show was an awesome surprise. Earlier in 2017 I was going to so many shows, and lately I haven’t been to as many. This is largely in part due to me being broke which is largely in part due to me being an idiot with my money.    Anywhooo….Thursday night my buddy gave me the heads up on this show and I knew I couldn’t miss it. I love My Goodness, and I’d heard good things about the openers Smokey Brights so I bought a ticket.

The show began as all good shows do, plenty of pregaming (5 brewskie’s) and plenty of good friends (4 dudebuddies).  I unfortunately missed most of the set of the first band Year of Death because I was getting carried away drinking and carousing around out in the sidebar. I caught the last half of the last song and it sounded like goth synth-y 80’s music.  Like, the kind of vibe where you dress up in leather and swing glow sticks around. Or like the music you’d listen to if you were in the movie the Matrix. Or like if you had a dance party out in a graveyard. Thats the only portion I heard so I really can’t give a fair opinion. I was trying to look up some tunes of theirs to share but couldn’t find anything. So it goes….

After a smoke break and a beer Smokey Brights hit the stage.  I was blown away quite honestly. I’m a sucker for guitar and going into this show I just assumed this band was mainly keyboard driven. I was definitely wrong, they rocked out. The guitarist shredded on a few of the songs.  In addition to that all the members were talented and had something to add to each song.  Stage presence was really good and the production of the music was fantastic.  I really couldn’t help but nod my head and do my dad dance to most of the songs. They are definitely a professional band and have their shit together. I’ve been listening to their music even after the show so thats how you know its good.  You should check em out.

After another smoke break and another beer or two, My Goodness hit the stage. At this point I was felling REALLY good.  I had attempted to see them twice before but never made it all the way to actually see them.  Anyways, as expected they killed it plain and simple.  Production was off the charts and stage presence was great.  Everyone was rocking out and getting the crowd into it. I was excited to hear a few of the songs I really wanted to hear.  Elevators and Sweet Tooth being the ones I was most excited about.  It was great hearing all of the new ones too.  I wish there was a video of the killer dance moves I was breaking out at this point…or at least a video of peoples reactions to the drunk guy rocking out in front of them.

After their set, the crowd thinned out pretty quickly.  I was corralled into and uber and woke up in my own bed so I’d consider it a VERY successful night out.  Here’s some links to their songs on Spotify.  Pretty sure you’re gonna dig em!

Song Spotlight: Weekend by Smith Westerns

This particular song had me hooked for months back in the summer of 2016. Love the pure happiness of the guitar lick in the beginning.  A nice steady drum beat and airy vocals.  Pretty much a perfect summer driving song.

It’s a real bummer these guys aren’t a band anymore.  This is my favorite of their tunes but the whole album “Dye it Blonde” is good. I liked his approach to singing these songs.  Way laid back and airy, kinda makes the focus on the music and instrumentation more.

Super Specific Song Placement:  This song definitely places me in the passenger side of an old red 65′ mustang convertible driving through the super dry parts of central California where its pretty much just all dead grass.  I would imagine I would be on my way to a party.

That’s definitely what I’m thinking. Anyways, give the song a listen! Let me know what you think.

Song Spotlight: Chancellor by Gordon Downie

So I want to start doing a song spotlight consistently.  I figure one of the most useful aspects of me starting this blog up is being able to share songs I love with the rest of you.  Pretty cool huh?!

This first one is pretty far out of my normal listening habits.  I stumbled upon it through Spotify and was instantly enthralled.  Nothing complicated, a simple chord progression and beautiful piano on the top.

Another highlight for me is the way he sings the song.  Wouldn’t be my go to if I were to try to sing over top of the melody. He rushes parts and drags other parts out, but it works out perfectly.  An overall beautiful song.  Gordon’s lyrics really hit home for some reason and when I listen back I have no clue what he’s talking about.

Super Specific Song Placement: I guess if I had to pinpoint how this song makes me feel I’d say it just has a nice chill longing to it. I can picture myself sitting on a gloomy beach alone, it’s exactly 58 degrees outside, and a small fire’s going.  Not feeling depressed, but feeling thankful for the little I have.

Anyways, hope you dig it as much as I do.  Here’s a link.  Let me know what you think! Where do you picture yourself listening to it?

 

Rest In Peace – Chris Cornell

I and many other were devastated to find out the news today that Chris Cornell passed away.  My soul hurts to even comprehend that one of my favorite artists and lyricists took his own life.

We could go on making assumptions as to why he did it, or for the conspiracy theorists we could go on for hours about possible situations as to how he died. The fact remains at the end of the day that the world lost an incredible talent and, I like to think, a genuinely “true” artist.

He wrote in a deep and heartfelt way that you just don’t hear much anymore.  Turn on the radio and most songs are boiled down to a repeatable braindead chorus and soulless verses.

Chris wrote lyrics like the following:

Summer nights and long warm days
Are stolen as the old moon falls
My mirror shows another face
Another place to hide it all
Another place to hide it all
And I’m lost, behind
The words I’ll never find
And I’m left behind
As seasons roll on by

I mean…this is what we lost today.  We lost a “Picasso” of the music world.  He was unreal at the lyrical level, vocally he was best of the best, and to top it off he was a once in a lifetime songwriter crafting hit after hit.  He put Seattle on the map and he did so much for so many musicians and music fans out there that got through life on words and songs that he wrote.  He literally helped to  inspire, shape, and in many ways, define a generation.

Now as I sit here and listen to his music I can hear in the lyrics that the writing was on the wall this whole time.  Maybe thats why his vocals and his singing ability are unmatched.  He poured every ounce of his pain and his feeling out there for the world to enjoy and he was suffering the entire time.

I think we can all agree the world is worse off without Chris in it.

I only wish he knew what the rest of the world now knows.

Seattle Local Playlist – Spotify

For all you Seattle audiophiles out there I’ve created a rough grab bag of some local tunes with bands I’ve seen or played with over the years.  There are many, many more I need to add so please if you have suggestions leave a comment and I’ll try to get them added quickly.

Some favorites of mine to check out are the Wimps, My Goodness, and Hobosexual. All of these bands rock though and it constantly reminds me as to why I live in Seattle.  It’s so great to be part of such an awesome local music scene.

Check out the Spotify Playlist here: